…is a typical piece of barracking you’re likely to hear at London’s Speakers Corner…
I’ve been going there since 1997, in fact, almost every Sunday for the first few years with Speakers Corner almost becoming my ‘Church’ in the process. I say ‘church’ due to the many religions represented there, all debating/arguing there various points of view or holy book – it’s certainly an education. So, having not been for several years I had the opportunity to head back there last weekend and I’m pleased to report, nothing has changed – it’s as bonkers as ever and I love it!
Its one of the few places in the World where actual free-speech takes place and nothing is sacred so if you’re sensitive to a particular issue be prepared to hear all about it – it can be very provoking! However, I can vouch that it’s always entertaining and you do actually come away (most of the time) having learnt something.
In essence, anybody can turn up, stand on a box/small ladder and speak about whatever you wish – though be fully prepared to be challenged, heckled or even shouted down!
Monty Python’s The Life of Brian did an amazing parody of Speakers Corner…
Located at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street (top of Park Lane) it occupies one corner of Hyde Park and whilst it wasn’t as busy as I’ve known it, in attendance were all the regulars; evangelical christians, muslims, jews and other random nutters – it’s a real spectacle and great entertainment for a Sunday afternoon – though if you’re a young American (and there’s certainly a few that get reeled in) maybe think about what you’re going to say before getting into a ‘discussion’ with the speakers – these guys have been doing it for years and are experts!
Some video footage from Sunday 12th, 2012.
And some portraits from the same day.